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Sarah Palin On The Issues

By Da King Published: August 31, 2008

alaska

Since many people are unfamiliar with John McCain's VP choice, Alaskan governor Sarah Palin, I thought it might be helpful if I provided Palin's stance on many issues, in her own words, rather than through the storm of political spin that is sure to follow. For more information on Palin's policy positions, the OnTheIssues.org website is a pretty good source.

First, a quick thumbnail sketch of Sarah Palin's positions. She is both a fiscal and social conservative, and reform minded. She fought against what she calls "the old boy network" in Alaska, including those in her own party. She is pro-life and believes marriage is between a man and a woman. She's an NRA member who supports the 2nd amendment, and supports the death penalty. She has a record as a tax cutter and a proponent of free markets. She is strong against crime and has beefed up law enforcement in Alaska. She increased funding for K-12 education and believes in funding early education. She is for drilling both offshore and in ANWR (hopefully she'll convince McCain about ANWR), but she also agrees with Obama's plans to increase renewable energy sources. She disagrees with Obama's windfall profits tax on Big Oil companies. She killed the infamous "bridge to nowhere" pork, saying that if Alaska wants that bridge, Alaska should pay for it. She has tried to get Alaska off the federal pork dole. She passed a comprehensive ethics bill. She believes health care solutions must be market and doctor driven, not government and bureaucracy driven. She supported the Alaskan Construction Academy that trained students for jobs in Alaska's booming construction industry.

Now, here's Sarah Palin.

On Health Care:

I established our Health Care Strategies Council and we'll pursue many of their recommendations, starting with our Health Care Transparency Act, requiring that consumers get better information about prices and quality of their own care. We will allow competition. Under our present Certificate of Need (CON) process, costs and needs don't drive health care choices--bureaucracy does! Our system is broken and expensive. We propose, as many states have, eliminating the CON, to increase choice and to manage rising costs. Currently nine CON lawsuits are adversely affecting consumers. Alaskans want health care in the hands of doctors, not lobbyists and lawyers. We are considering what other fiscally conservative states have done to incentivize employers to provide medical insurance for employees, based on the free market.
Source: State of the State Address to the 25th Alaska Legislature Jan 15, 2008

Q&A on the alleged trooper firing scandal:

Q: People want to know why you fired your Public Safety Commissioner Monegan. Is it because he stopped you from getting rid of your brother-in-law [in a Cabinet firing]? People want to know if this is an ethical lapse on your part.
A: I'm glad that you're asking because I never tried to fire a former brother-in-law whose been divorced from my sister for quite some time. No, it was the commissioner, that we were seeking more results, more action to fill vacant trooper positions to deal with bootlegging and alcohol abuse problems in our rural villages especially. Just needed some new direction, a lot of new energy in that position. That is why the replacement took place there of the commissioner of public safety. It had nothing to do with an estranged former brother-in-law, a divorce that had happened some years ago.

Source: CNBC "Kudlow & Company" Interview Jul 31, 2008

On Leadership Principles:

We are on the same team, if we have got the same goal. With so much opportunity in Alaska, let's look at challenges like we do in our own families: save money, spend wisely, and we will secure our tomorrow. Invest in solid foundations like education and deferred maintenance. Pull together, not tear down. Be positive. Respect our treasured past, but look forward now. These are leadership characteristics expected by those who elect us to lead, to serve, to work for Alaskans. What a responsibility we have! To look beyond partisan and geographic differences. To slow government growth, so we don't tax hard working families and hand future generations a budget they can't afford. To restore trust in government. To develop our resources responsibly, including a gasline to meet our long-term energy needs. To equip our students for work and help them commit to personal responsibility and good character. United leadership to do the will of the people, with vigor. Source: State of the State Address to the 25th Alaska Legislature Jan 15, 2008

On Taxation:

I will propose reducing or eliminating burdensome taxes on our citizens like business license fees and the tire tax. After our citizens, our state treasure is our commonly-owned natural resources. Fifty years ago, our Constitution's founders established lofty goals and ironclad promises to be self-sufficient and self-determined wise use of resources.
Source: State of the State Address to the 25th Alaska Legislature Jan 15, 2008

To help Alaska's families, and small businesses (the backbone of our local economies), I propose to repeal "nuisance taxes" including the tire tax--we shouldn't make Alaskans pay a premium to keep families safe driving Alaska's roads. And we'll significantly reduce business license fees. Taxes which send the wrong message by financially discouraging our small businesses.
Source: State of the State Address Jan 17, 2007

On Education:

In education, we are shaping a three-year funding plan to finally shift the school debate from perpetual "money talk" to accountability and achievement! We are focusing on foundational skills needed in the "real-world" workplace and in college.
Source: State of the State Address to the 25th Alaska Legislature Jan 15, 2008

It is our energy development that pays for essential services, like education. Victor Hugo said, "He who opens a school door, closes a prison." It's a privileged obligation we have to "open education doors." Every child, of every ability, is to be cherished and loved and taught. Every child provides this world hope. They are the most beautiful ingredient in our sometimes muddied up world. I am committed to our children and their education. Stepping through "the door" is about more than passing a standardized test. We need kids prepared to pass life's tests--like getting a job and valuing a strong work ethic. Our Three-year Education Plan invests more than a billion dollars each year. We must forward-fund education, letting schools plan ahead. We must stop pink-slipping teachers, and then struggle to recruit and retain them the next year.
Source: State of the State Address to the 25th Alaska Legislature Jan 15, 2008

On the State Budget:

I have established an aggressive goal of reducing general fund spending by $150 million dollars. This takes tremendous effort by staff as well as the cooperation of the Legislature. On the savings side, by depositing our one-time surplus of $1.8 billion dollars, we'll build our savings account to nearly $4.3 billion dollars. It's a necessary step to ensure that we can fund essential services tomorrow; and avoid massive "single year" cuts down the road, if and when, faced with tougher times.
Source: State of the State Address Jan 17, 2007

On Crime:

In Public Safety and Corrections, after years of positions left vacant, we've doubled academy recruits. We're building public trust by demanding the highest standards of those in public safety. We're implementing realistic plans to deal with overcrowded prisons, including rehabilitation and work requirements for the 95 percent of inmates who will re-enter society instead of just "warehousing" them. In Law, we are getting tough on criminals with tougher, defensible sentences. It was a clean sweep for convictions in the Cold Case Unit. Our Civil Division is managing hundreds of legal battles to protect Alaskans' interests. I commend Law for last year's needed, comprehensive ethics bill. In Military and Veterans Affairs, we certified hundreds of territorial guardsmen, so those who served finally receive their benefits. We are proudly supporting our brave Alaska Guard as they provide daily search and rescue in our State, and support the War on Terror.
Source: State of the State Address to the 25th Alaska Legislature Jan 15, 2008

It should be interesting to see how Palin's beliefs translate to the national stage.

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